Now that the holiday season is upon us, cold and flu season is upon us as well. Collectively, employees in the United States miss millions of hours of work each year due to the flu or flu-related illnesses, which equates to billions of dollars of lost revenue for businesses.  So, promoting the need for flu shots and clean work areas is well worth the time and effort.  Here are some tips for flu season in the workplace:

–          Encourage employees to get a flu shot. You can consider partnering with a pharmacy that will actually come out to your office or, at the very least, supply employees with a list of places they can get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control has a great website with more information: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/business/

–          Tell employees to stay home if they are sick. The CDC recommends staying home for at least one more day after a fever has gone away. Consider allowing employees to work from home for a few days after they recover to ensure they won’t spread the virus. Also, send employees home as soon as they start feeling sick.

–          Encourage people to wash their hands frequently. And, make alcohol based hand sanitizers available. Soap and water is best, but sanitizer is good to have when a sink is not available.

–          Wipe down common areas frequently and make disinfecting cleaners available for employees to keep their work areas clean.

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